Bánh Giò – Minced Pork and Rice Dumplings

Banh Gio is a savory breakfast food traditionally wrapped in leaves or aluminum foil, steamed, and eaten with nouc mam (fish sauce). My grandmother updated her banh gio recipe to exclude steaming and include microwaving after listening to a Vietnamese radio program where this shortcut was introduced.

For pork filling (gio)

  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 1/8 pound dried Wood Ear mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons nouc mam

For banh

  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Prepare pork filling

If using dried mushrooms, reconstitute in warm water until softened. Slice mushrooms into thin, small pieces and set aside. Sauté ground pork in a saucepan over medium heat and season with salt, pepper, and nouc mam. Add mushrooms to pork and cook until pork is well-done and all liquid has been absorbed.

Prepare banh

In a different saucepan, combine cornstarch, water, salt, and vegetable oil over medium/high heat. Constantly stir the mixture until thickened (approximately 10 minutes) and remove from heat. When you take it off the heat, the banh should be white and able to hold stiff peaks.

Assembling and cooking banh gio

Fill 1/3 of a microwave-safe bowl with the banh mixture, followed by a layer of pork, and another layer of banh. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave for 2.5 minutes. Repeat for the remainder of the banh and pork filling. Serve with nouc mam either in the bowl as is or inverted as pictured above.

Makes 4 servings.

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17 Responses to “Bánh Giò – Minced Pork and Rice Dumplings”


  • Mmmm…banh gio…I used to tear into a plate of it with sambal or sriracha on top. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Wow, how I LOVE this recipe!! I love banh gio, but buying and cleaning the banana leaves are just too much trouble for me. I’ve only tried making once before in a bowl with steaming and failed miserably. I have to try this tomorrow on my day off and get my banh gio fix. Thank you!!

  • One question- you are using corn starch, not tapioca starch? I first saw it used with tapioca starch, and have seen corn and tapioca written interchangeably. This is with the normal American corn starch?

    Thanks!!

  • Yep, just regular old American corn starch in the yellow box.

  • Just finished enjoying the first bowl of banh gio made with your recipe!!! I have to go back and adjust the salt a little to my taste, but can’t believe how fast and convenient it was!! Thanks a lot for sharing this!

  • Thuy - Awesome! Thanks for the report ;-)

  • Did I miss the rice flour in your recipe? There’s no rice flour.

  • Erin - There is no rice flour in the recipe, just cornstarch. Crazy, right? It’s a great dish!

  • Might be we should not cover with plastic wrap. It has been said the chemicals will leak into your foodss during cooking, and you will be eating plastic along with your foods.

  • I agreed with ktp about plastic wrap. What should we replace plastic? Can I use paper towel instead?

  • Help!!!!! Am I doing something wrong? I made my banh mixture according to the recipe, and it turned out thick just like indicated. However after I put it in the microwave, it turned gelatinous instead of cake-like as in the picture. I used organic corn-starch, but that shouldn’t be an issue right? Please advise. I really love this dish….

  • Don’t fret, Goldenpig! The texture is supposed to be gelatinous. Perhaps you’re thinking of a different Vietnamese dish? Shake on some fish sauce and enjoy!

  • Thanks Gastronomer. I have to clarify a little bit further…when I said “gelatinous” I meant it was clear gel like -very much like that of a jellyfish :-( I had these before at restaurants and they were soft and pliable like in your photo.

  • Goldenpig - It sounds to me like you didn’t let the banh cook for long enough on the stove top. When you take it off the heat, the banh should be white and be able to hold stiff peaks. I will need to update the recipe because “thickened” is not clear enough of a description. Try again?

  • Thank you so much, Gastronomer. You are spot on. I didn’t let it cook long enough. I took it off when it started to thicken. Will try again :P

  • Goldenpig - Totally my fault. This was one of my very first recipes so it wasn’t written crystal clear. Best of luck!

  • I agreed with ktp about plastic wrap. I used a Pyrex container and a ceramic plate as a lid to cook in microwave. If the plate fits well with the container, that’s great. If not, use plastic wrap to cover both the plate and the container to seal the hot steam. If the plastic wrap leaks some chemical, it will drop on the plate, not the food.

    Another option is to buy a cornware with a glass lid.

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